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31.05.2007 UK food sector is the world leader in food health and environment movement, an example to be looked upon by the leaders of the G 8 meeting
The UK government launched the OFCOM media advertising ban for unhealthy foods targeted to children. Another great job was the introduction of the "traffic light" labelling marking with green, amber and red colours the important constituents of foods.
Another path-breaking action of the UK government is to launch the "carbon footprint" label. This will be a real step forward reducing carbon emission.
The voluntary labelling scheme will help companies to measure the greenhouse gases associated with their their products and reduce them. Labelling will give the consumer the possibility to choose between environment friendly and those who do not carry such label because they have a high land, sea and air transport or not effective processing system, as well as waste from packaging and discarded products. 
Carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide or CO2 emitted through the combustion of fossil fuels; in the case of an organization, business or enterprise, as part of their everyday operations; in the case of an individual or household, as part of their daily lives; or a product or commodity in reaching market. In materials, is essentially a measure of embodied energy, the result of life cycle analysis. 
According to the UK environment minister Ian Pearson products will display labels showing the greenhouse gas emissions created by their production, transport and eventual disposal, similar to the calorie or salt content figures on food packaging. 
The pilot scheme from the Carbon Trust is being tested by several retailers. It calculates the carbon footprint for one item that can be purchased by the consumer, including both the product and the packaging and transport.
The Carbon Trust and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are linked with the BSI British Standards in the development of the standard. According to Defra the benchmark method will be the start of an internationally agreed standard for measuring embodied greenhouse gas emissions. 
Just call to your attention the transport of yoghurt from the south of Europe to the north labelled as “organic” produce, or bottled water being transported throughout Europe. A fair labelling of the carbon footprint will help you to choose foods which are good to you and the environment.
This is a great job of the UK government and a great award for the retailers which enforce these activities on their suppliers toward healthy foods and friendly to the environment
Mr. Bush should say yes to such activities on his G8 meeting in Germany which is worth 100 million Euro to secure his person for just a few days.
 Carbon Trust
Wikipedia, the free enzyclopedia: Carbon footprint.
 Daily Mail: Stores draw up official carbon footprint guide to every item we buy. News 30.05.2007
30.05.2007: The blue ear disease 
Chinese officials say million pigs are dying in China killed by the epidemic on Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), or blue ear disease, which is caused by a virus in the arterivirus family. This disease is known as post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome PMWS in Europe, and as the porcine circovirus associated disease PCVAD in USA.
It is a very common pig disease known for many years in Europe and USA in the mid 80s, from were it spread to other countries, such as to the Cape. China is being seriously hit by the disease, because pork is a staple food and meat is lacking on the markets and the government wants to release frozen stocks. 
The mortality is known to be up to 50% caused by the porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2), but has declined now to 1-2% in the nursry due to hygiene strategy and the porcine circovirus type 2 vaccine, but it is still up to 9% in finisher.
Human infectivity of blue ear disease 
According to Albert Osterhaus, a virology expert at the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, an international centre for blue ear disease, there are no indications that spread to humans can happen. Many viral infections that do occur in certain animal species are restricted to that particular species. A mutation to a variety which could be infectious to human, so as feared about the H2N5 virus of avian influenza, however, is highly unlikely.
The virus causes still-births, fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, redness of the skin and mortality rates of up to 50 percent on some farms.
The ears of affected pigs turn blue. The virus invades and multiplies in the white blood cells which die later on in the lung tissue of the pigs. Up to 40% of the macrophages are destroyed reducing the defence mechanism and allows bacteria and other viruses to proliferate. The virus mutates quickly turning the production of vaccines difficult, but vaccination in Guangdong will start soon.
Rules for pig slaughterhouses in China
According to China´s Ministry of Commerce, the draft rules for pig slaughterhouses demand that a slaughterhouse must be licensed and approved by local governments and environmental bureaux, and must be located away from drinking water supplies, residential districts and public areas. 
Direct pig to pig transfer is not common; the transmitting agent is Hematopinus suis, the swine louse. The diagnosis is the Virus isolation The control of the disease is the elimination of lice and hygiene measures.
Chinese officials believe that carcasses thrown into rivers may have been responsible for the spread of the disease to the surrounding areas. Infected pigs were raised by individual rural farmers applying poor hygiene measures rather than industrialized pig farms.
Endemic areas include Africa (South of the Sahara), Spain, and Portugal. The outbreaks in the Dominican Republic , Haiti, and Cuba have beenn reported. In China the desease appeared in the mid-90s, and in 2004 in the Cape Flats.
The blue ear disease virus not to be compared with the avian flue H5N1 and H7N1 virus 
Despite the economical impact, the blue ear virus does not menace mankind so as the H5N1 virus of the avian influenza does. China reports a new case of human infection with the H5N1 virus which was confirmed on the 30.05.2007. There had been no contact with sick birds prior to becoming unwell. Close contacts have been placed under medical observation and all remain well.
Of the 25 cases confirmed to date in China, 15 have been fatal. In UK two human infections with the less deadly variant of H7N1 were reported.
 World Organization for Animal Health : Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome in China (People’s Rep. of)
 ŧhe cape gateway: Blue ear disease in pigs: Possible source further invvestigation
 The pig site.com: Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS)
 WHO: Avian Influenza, Situation in China, Update 2 30.05.2007
 Ministry of Commerce of the People´s Rpublic of China: Continuous price hikes for meat, eggs likely to affect CPI Thursday,May 24,2007
30.05.2007:The role of tomato products and lycopene in the prevention of prostate cancer 
Etminan and colleagues 2004 determined whether intake of tomato products reduces the risk of prostate cancer using a meta-analysis. The researchers concluded that tomato products may play a role in the prevention of prostate cancer. However, this effect is modest and restricted to high amounts of tomato intake. Further research is needed to determine the type and quantity of tomato products with respect to their role in preventing prostate cancer.
 Etminan, M.; Takkouche, B.; Caamano-Isorna F.: The role of tomato products and lycopene in the prevention of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Mar;13(3):340-5.
29.05.2007 The legend of dietary fibre
The British surgeon Denis Burkit, working in an hospital in Uganda, developed the theory that Dietary fibre could reduce the colorectal cancer risk and other diseases, because Africans consumed more fruit and vegetables as found in western diet. As a tribute to his outstanding contributions in the fields of medicine, nutrition and health the Kellogg Company of Great Britain Limited initiated the Denis Burkitt Study Awards in 1994. 
In an article in Zeit Wissen 5, 2006 Eva-Maria Schnurr looks at the evolution of the theory of dietary fibre and colorectal cancer. In the 80s bran was added to cereals, yoghurt and even beverages in the hope to reduce risk of colorectal cancer. This theory is not being maintained any more by many scientists. According to the article from Eva-Maria Schnurr the English scientist Burkit, developing the initial theory of fibre to reduce colorectal cancer did not consider the age of the people he considered for his work, most of them died so early that no cancer could show up. 
Doubts about the theory came up due to the findings of a series of researches on this matter:
Wheat Bran fibre Trial: Wheat bran fibre does not reduce risk of recurrent colorectal adenoms 
Alberts and colleagues 2000 found in the Wheat Bran fibre Trial that a dietary supplement of wheat-bran fibre (of 13,5 g fibre in two to three cups of cereal per day) does not protect against recurrent colorectal adenomas.
Polyp Prevention Trial 
According to their authors, the Polyp Prevention Trial provided no evidence that adopting a low-fat, high-fibre fruit- and vegetable-enriched eating plan reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer.
The position of the National Institutes of Health related to dietary fibre 
The National Institutes of Health in a release comments the findings of the Wheat Bran Fibre Trial and the Polyp Prevention Trial: "The results provided no evidence that the particular dietary interventions employed (i.e., a low-fat, high-fibre, high-fruit and -vegetable eating plan or a high-fibre cereal supplement) in the particular population studied (individuals who had had one or more polyps removed at colonoscopy) were effective in preventing the recurrence of polyps. However, overall evidence suggests that a low-fat, high-fruit and - vegetable, high-fibre diet has benefit in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases - heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and others. This trial specifically looked at the effect of diet on the growth of new colorectal polyps in people who had already had a polyp removed. A healthy diet does not replace the need for people with a history of polyps to have regular checkups."
Wheat-bran fibre does not protect against colorectal adenomas 
Jacobs and colleagues 2006 assessed the epidemiologic evidence that cereal fibre protects against colorectal cancer is equivocal, with a supplementation of 13.5 g per day of wheat-bran fibre to reduce the rate of recurrence of colorectal adenomas. The authors found that a dietary supplement of wheat-bran fibre does not protect against recurrent colorectal adenomas.
The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) found no link between reduction of colorectal cancer and high fruit, vegetables and whole grain intake 
The clinical trials of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) were designed to test the effects of postmenopausal hormone therapy, diet modification, and calcium and vitamin D supplements on heart disease, fractures, and breast and colorectal cancer.
The WHI trial also reported no link between a diet low in fat, and high in fruit, vegetables and whole-grain intake. This study was restricted to women and appears to agree with the results from Arizona.
The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) found no link between supplementation of calcium and vitamin D and reduction of colorectal cancer 
Higher intake of calcium and vitamin D has been associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in epidemiologic studies and polyp recurrence in polyp-prevention trials. However, randomized-trial evidence that calcium with vitamin D supplementation is beneficial in the primary prevention of colorectal cancer is lacking.
However, the authors conclude that daily supplementation of calcium with vitamin D for seven years had no effect on the incidence of colorectal cancer among postmenopausal women. The long latency associated with the development of colorectal cancer, along with the seven-year duration of the trial, may have contributed to this null finding. Ongoing follow-up will assess the longer-term effect of this intervention.
Wheat Bran fibre Trial and the Polyp Prevention combined suggest benefit of fibre for men, but not women 
Elisabeth Jacobs and colleagues 2006 combined the Wheat Bran fibre Trial and the Polyp Prevention Trial, Both studies separately presented no link between dietary fibre and the risk of colon cancer, but pooled together a benefit of fibre was noted for men, but not women.
According to Jacobs the conflicting results from other studies can be explained by the difference in benefits between the sexes.
Warning about too much fibre intake 
According to Goodlad the benefits of fibre have been attributed to its binding to bile acids but fibre can also bind various other harmful materials. Vegetable fibre has several times more galactose than cereal fibre and this high galactose content will inhibit binding of mitogenic galactose binding lectins, such as peanut agglutinin, which has been shown to stimulate cell proliferation in the human colon. Goodlad concludes that fermentable fibre and resistant starch can give origin to colorectal adenomes.
Increases in tumour in rats following supplementation with fibre-like substrates such as resistant starch have also been reported. Williamson and colleagues 1999 conclude that it is possible that any increased risk posed by resistant starch is restricted to carriers of germline mutations in APC (adenomatous polyposis (Apc) gene).  
Another theory says that soluble fibre and excessive cereal fibre are being added to probiotic and functional foods as well as drinks by the producers trying to profit from a new wave toward high fibre foods. This may lead to a negative health effect as excessive fibre may lead to gas which can drive bacteria back to the small intestine where they may cause erosion of the gut.
Goodlad reinforces the advice that fibre is still an important aspect of a diet and in the diet fibre should come from fibre-rich food such as fruits and vegetables and less so from cereals, to have a balanced diet and everything in moderation,and that exercise and avoiding obesity is important.
The Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School Report 1999 
Fuchs and colleagues 1999 found no association between the intake of dietary fibre itself and the risk of colorectal cancer. The researchers measured the contributions of dietary fibre from cereals, fruits, and vegetables. Only fruit fibre was associated with an appreciable but not significant reduction in risk. In contrast, greater consumption of vegetable fibre was associated with a small increase in the risk of colorectal cancer.
Nurses' Health Studie found no link between Fibre and colon cancer 
Nurses' Health Studie in USA observed 76 947 nurses starting in 1976 over 16 years. And the Nurses' Healt Study II started in 1989 could not find a link between dietary fibre and colorectal cancer.
Limitations of Studies 
The validity of the results were questioned on account of the poor compliance with the dietary intervention in the WHI trial.
Limitations of the wheat bran Fibre and the polyp prevention trial had a follow- up period of only two to four years, ting into consideration that the latency period of the cancer is between 10 and 20 years. Another limitation with this new-pooled analysis is the use of polyps, as a marker for actual cancer.
Total dietary fibre does not protect against colorectal cancer , but whole grain does 
In 2007 Schatzkin and colleagues found in a large prospective cohort study, that total dietary fibre intake was not associated with colorectal cancer risk, whereas whole-grain consumption was associated with a modest reduced risk.The association with whole grain was stronger for rectal than for colon cancer.
Dietary fibre and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study 
Wakai and colleagues 2007 found no differences in the strength of associations with the risk between water-soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. For food sources of fibre, bean fibre intake was somewhat inversely correlated with colorectal cancer risk.
This might point to the findings that soluble fibres from fruit and vegetable have shown to be protective towards colorectal cancer and insoluble cereal fibre tends to increase the risk of cancer in humans.
The authors concluded that dietary fibre my be protective against colorectal cancer, mainly against colon cancer, however, the role of dietary fibre in the prevention of colorectal cancer seems to remain inconsistent, and further investigations in various populations are being suggested by the authors.
The weak point of the Women's Health Initiative 
Martinez and Jacobs in an editorial in 2007 point out that most prospective studies of colorectal cancer and calcium intake suggests a threshold effect in that risk reduction is seen at intakes of approximately 600–1000 mg/day, with no further protection beyond these levels. These findings might explain the null effects observed in the Women's Health Initiative, in which women received a total calcium intake of approximately 2150 mg/day, levels that, based on the prospective data, are consistent with no effect. Martinez and Jacobs rise again the question of whether calcium supplementation could protect individuals with low or moderately low baseline intakes of calcium.
Matinez and Jacobs also note that according to Grau and colleagues 2007  the protective effect of calcium supplementation for colorectal adenoma recurrence extends as long as 5 years after cessation of supplementation and that this effect is slightly stronger than that observed during the intervention phase.
Influence of the colorectal cancer behavioural risk factors of individuals 
Individuals who were not adherent to screening reported having a greater number of risk factors than adherent individuals. Risk factors were considered in this study to be low physical activity, low fruit and vegetable intake, and low intake of multivitamins.
The authors conclude that there is a need to develop interventions to modify the colorectal cancer behavioural risk factors that are common among screening-adherent and nonadherent individuals.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study 
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, found a very strong association between a high fibre intake and a reduction in the instance of colorectal cancer. People who ate more than 35 g of fibre a day had a 40 per cent reduced risk than those who consumed only 15 g.
Colon cancer aetiology:
- The hypothesis that a diet high in fibre reduces colorectal cancer risk has been corroborated in the EPIC study. Our findings were published in parallel with the results from the PLCO cohort of the NIH-NCI. In that study, a similar protective effect of fibre on colorectal cancer polyps was observed. Together, these results indicate that fibre is protective both for the development of adenomatous polyps and for their malignant transformation.
- The hypotheses that consumption of red and processed meat increases colorectal cancer risk while intake of fish decreases risk is strongly supported by the EPIC results.
- The combination of these four dietary factors (i.e. fibre, fish, red and processed meats) plays a major role in colorectal cancer aetiology in addition to alcohol intake, obesity and low physical activity.
Summary of Scientific Activity on Colon Cancer in the EPIC Study 
Lancet 2003, Bingham and colleagues found an inverse relation of dietary fibre with colorectal cancer incidence with the greatest protective effect in the left colon, and least in the rectum. No food source of fibre is significantly more protective than others.
Bingham and colleagues 2004 confirmed the above findings after adjustment for folate and with a longer follow-up.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2004, Jenab et al: Higher nut and seed intake is not significantly associated to the risk of colorectal, colon, and rectal cancers in men but did show an inverse association with colon cancer in women.
Norat T et al, provisionally accepted 2004: High consumption of processed and/or red meat is associated with an increase in colorectal cancer risk, not explained by the substitution of fish by red meat and is less apparent in high fibre consumers. Fish consumption is significantly inversely associated with risk while there is no association with poultry.
Riboli E et al, Paper in preparation: Intake of milk and cheese was significantly associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk. The data suggested an inverse association for yoghurt. Dietary calcium and calcium from dairy products are also significantly inversely associated.
The marketing of fibre
Dietary fibre components such as pectins, gums, cellulose and others, used as functional ingredients by the food industry are being used in marketing strategy to claim high fibre benefits.
The search for new fibre sources 
Lecumberri and colleagues analysed the extract of cocoa husk extract, a waste product of chocolate production. The researchers found that it contained about 50% of dietary fibre, together with 1.32 % of soluble polyphenols and 4.46 % condensed tannins antioxidant capacity. 80 per cent of the total dietary fibre were insoluble and ten per cent of the total dietary fibre were soluble fibre, The glucose retardation index of cocoa fibre were similar to other natural commercial insoluble fibres. Another good characteristic of cocoa husk extract ingredient is its nearly 10 per cent of soluble fibre found as pectic substances. This is higher than the amount offered by dietary fibre from cereal brans.
Dietary guidelines recommend a minimum daily intake of dietary fibre (DF) of 25 g (equivalent to 12.5 g dietary fibre per 1000 calories consumed), which is considerably higher than the estimated intakes in Western countries, dietary fibre components like pectins, gums, cellulose and others have been used as functional ingredients 15
Dietary fibre from cocoa suitable for low-calorie, high-fibre foodes preparations 
Elena Lecumberri and colleagues 2007 studied the composition and dietary fibre obtained from cocoa bean hus, a waste product from cocoa. This product contained 60.54% of total dry matter as dietary fibre, where 80% of these are insoluble fibre and 10 % are soluble dietary fibre and polyphenolic compounds (1.32% soluble polyphenols and 4.46% condensed tannins) The glucose retardation index of cocoa fibre were similar to other natural commercial insoluble fibres.
The authors conclude that the antioxidant capacity of this fibre-rich cocoa powder and its physico-chemical properties render it a suitable product to be used in the preparation of low-calorie, high-fibre foods like chocolate cookies, chocolate cakes, dietetic chocolate supplements, etc. where the colour and flavour of this cocoa fibre might be advantageous
 British Nutrition Foundation: The Denis Burkitt Study Award 2007
 Schnurr, Eva-Maria: Unnützer Ballast für den Darm. Die ZEIT Wissen 05/2006. 16.08.2006 pg 20-21
 Alberts, D.S.; Martinez, M.E. ; Roe, D.J.; Guillen-Rodriguez, J.M.; Marshall, J.R.; van Leeuwen, J.B.; Reid, M.E.; Ritenbaugh, C.; Vargas, P.A.; Bhattacharyya, A.B.; Earnest,D.L.; Sampliner, R.E.; Parish, D.; Koonce, K.; Fales, L. and The Phoenix Colon Cancer Prevention Physicians' Ne: Lack of Effect of a High-fibre Cereal Supplement on the Recurrence of Colorectal Adenomas. N. Engl. J. Med., April 20, 2000; 342(16): 1156 – 1162.
 Schatzkin, Arthur and Others: Lack of Effect of a Low-Fat, High-fibre Diet on the Recurrence of Colorectal Adenomas. The New England Journal of Medicine Volume 342:1149-1155 April 20, 2000 Number 16
 National Institutes of Health: The Polyp Prevention Trial and the Wheat Bran fibre Study
Jacobs, Elizabeth T.; Giuliano, Anna R.; Roe, Denise J.; Guillén-Rodríguez, José M. ; Hess, Lisa M. ; Alberts, David S. and Martínez, María Elena: Intake of Supplemental and Total fibre and Risk of Colorectal Adenoma Recurrence in the Wheat Bran fibre Trial
 National Institutes of Health: The Women's Health Initiative (WHI)
 Jean Wactawski-Wende, Jean and others for the Women's Health Initiative Investigators: Calcium plus Vitamin D Supplementation and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer. New English Journal of Medicine Volume 354:684-696Febraury 16, 2006 Number 7.
 Jacobs, Elizabeth T.; Lanza, Elaine; Alberts, David S.; Hsu, Chiu-Hsieh; Jiang, Ruiyun; Schatzkin, Arthur; Thompson Patricia A. and Martínez, María Elena.: fibre, sex, and colorectal adenoma: results of a pooled analysis Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, February 1, 2006; 83(2): 343 - 349.
 Goodlad, R.A.: Dietary fibre and the risk of colorectal cancerGut, May 2001; 48: 587 - 589.
 Fuchs, Charles S.; Giovannucci, Edward L.; Golditz, Graham A.; Hunter, David J.; Stampfer, Meir J.; Rosner, Bernard.; Speizer, Frank E. and Willet, Walter C.: Dietary fibre and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Adenoma in Women. New England Journal of Medicine. Volume 340:169-176 January 21, 1999 Number 3
 Bonithon-Kopp 2000 Bonithon-Kopp C, Kronborg O, Giacosa A. , et al. Calcium and fibre supplementation in prevention of colorectal adenoma recurrence: a randomised intervention trial. Lancet, 2000;356:1300-1306.
 Williamson S.L.; Kartheuser A.; Coaker J. ; Kooshkghazi M.D.; Fodde R. ; Burn, J.; Mathers C.C.: Intestinal tumorigenesis in the Apc1638N mouse treated with aspirin and resistant starch for up to 5 months. Carcinogenesis 1999 May;20(5):805-10
Harward School of Public Health: Fruits and vegetables.
 Wikipedia, the free enzyclopedia: Nurses' Health Study
Schatzkin, Arthur; Mouw, Traci; Park, Yikyung; Subar, Amy F; Kipnis, Victor; Hollenbeck, Albert; Leitzmann, Michael F. and Thompson, Frances E.: Dietary fibre and whole-grain consumption in relation to colorectal cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 5, 1353-1360, May 2007
 Wakai, K., Date, C., Fukui, M., Tamakoshi, K., Watanabe, Y., Hayakawa, N., Kojima, M., Kawado, M., Suzuki, K., Hashimoto, S., Tokudome, S., Ozasa, K., Suzuki, S., Toyoshima, H., Ito, Y., Tamakoshi, A., for the JACC Study Group, (2007). Dietary fibre and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 16: 668-675
 Martínez, María Elena and Jacobs , Elizabeth T.: Calcium Supplementation and Prevention of Colorectal Neoplasia: Lessons From Clinical Trials. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2007 99(2):99-100; doi:10.1093/jnci/djk025
Grau MV, Baron JA, Sandler RS, Wallace K, Haile RW, Church TR, et al. Prolonged effect of calcium supplementation on risk of colorectal adenomas in a randomized trial. J Natl Cancer Inst 2007;99:129–36.
European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition: Key findings
 Lecumberri, E; Mateos, R.; Izquierdo-Pulido, M.; Ruperez, P.; Goya, L.; and Bravo, L.: Dietary fibre composition, antioxidant capacity and physico-chemical properties of a fibre-rich product from cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.). Food Chemistry (Elsevier). Volume 104, Issue 3, Pages 948-954, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.12.054
 Kushi, L. H., Byers, T., Doyle, C., Bandera, E. V., McCullough, M., Gansler, T., Andrews, K. S., Thun, M. J., The American Cancer Society 2006 Nutrition and Phy, (2006). American cancer society guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention: reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity.. CA Cancer J Clin 56: 254-281
27.05.2007 Salmonella in fresh basil 
The FSA is advising people who may have bought certain batches of fresh packets of basil from ASDA, Sainsbury's and Somerfield stores not to eat them. This is because of possible salmonella contamination, which can cause diarrhoea and sickness.
Two samples from ASDA stores in Peterlee and Bishop Auckland tested positive for salmonella. Two positive samples came from Sainsbury's stores in Swindon and Gateshead, and the fifth from a Somerfield store in Harpenden.
This reminds the Salmonella affair from paprika powder of the German company Fuchs, the spinach disaster in USA and others.
Sources of contamination of herbs, spices and vegetables 
The natural reservoir of Salmonella spp. is the intestine of animals, including humans. Salmonella spp. can, however, be isolated from very different sources. The bacteria are robust, and can survive in the environment, including the food-processing environment, and in feed and foods for prolonged periods
Salmonella spp. are common in pig, poultry and cattle production as well as in horses, and, typically, the animals are healthy carriers. The bacteria are spread among farm animals through contact with other farm animals, wild birds or rodents, through contaminated feed or water, or through infected utensils, equipment or workers.
During the growth, treatment, transport, packaging or production processes there are several factors which may cause the contamination of spices and herbs, which are:
Growth and harvest
|Excreta is one of the major contaminants which may carry Salmonella. The presence of rodent, animal or bird excreta/urine renders a spice unclean. An important source of contamination of spices, vegetables and feed is the use of improper treated manure. Another hazard is the irrigation of the fields with water from water reservoirs with sewage contamination.|
Other methods to reduce the presence of Salmonella in environment such as the oral administration of commercial preparations of the intestinal microflora or anaerobic cultures of gut microorganisms from mature, Salmonella-free birds, early after hatching to young chicks can prevent intestinal colonisation of Salmonella. This reduces the Salmonella charge of manure of manure and environment.
Processing and Packaging
Open air drying used to dry paprka is a source of contamination by birds and other animals.
Inadequate cleaning and sanitising of equipment of packer
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) standard in food industry
|According to the EU Directive on Hygiene for Foodstuffs (93/43/EC), the HACCP system must be the basis for safety procedures for all foods. All food processors that process, treat, pack, transport, distribute or trade foodstuffs. are legally bound to have a HACCP plan The processors of herbs and spices should rely on the HACCP system and develop their sanitising program.||Inadequate cleaning of equipment|
 FSA: Agency issues warning on salmonella contamination in basil
 Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CPI): Spices and Herbs. A Survey of The Netherlands and other Major Markets in the European Union. March 1999.
26.03.2007: Warning about high levels of multivitamins increasing the risk of prostate cancers. 
Karla Lawson in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study found that regular multivitamin use has no effect on prostate cancer. High levels of multivitamins along with other supplements have increased the risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancer by 32%. The risc was strongest in men with a family history of the disease, or amongst men took additional micronutrient supplements, including beta-carotin, selenium, or zinc.
The research supports a nested study published recently in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that reported that an increased selenium intake in combination with a daily multivitamin may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by about 40 per cent.
Goran Bjelakovic and Christian Gluud comment the study of Lawson and explain that reactive oxygen species in moderate concentrations are essential mediators of reactions by which the body gets rid of unwanted cells. The antioxidant supplements decreases free radicals. This may interfere with essential defensive mechanisms for ridding the organism of precancerous and cancerous cells.
The authors conclude that our diets typically contain safe levels of vitamins, but high-level antioxidant supplements could potentially upset an important physiologic balance.
The author conclude that Lawson and colleagues add to the growing evidence that questions the beneficial value of antioxidant vitamin pills in generally well-nourished populations and underscore the possibility that antioxidant supplements could have unintended consequences for our health, 
Liz Baker, from the British charity Cancer Research UK commented the researche saying that It's still not entirely clear what factors can affect a man's risk of developing prostate cancer. And there is conflicting evidence on the pros and cons of vitamin supplements. She refers to the benefits of vitamins that naturally occur in our food, and encourages consumers to eat a diet rich in fibre, vegetables and fruit, and low in red and processed meat. 
The results were challenged by Daniel Fabricant of the Natural Products Association (NPA). 
The VITAL study 
Chris Slatore and colleagues of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle presented the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study. No statistically significant relationships between different types of supplements and lung cancer were found in this study.
This study of more than 75,000 adults found that taking supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C and E and folate do not decrease the risk of lung cancer.
The study, which also did not find any increased lung cancer risk from the supplements, is one of the most detailed, prospective observational studies to look at the effect of vitamin supplements instead of vitamins from foods on lung cancer risk.
This confirms foregoing studies which suggest that vitamin supplementation mightnot be as healthy as believed.:
The CARET study 1996 
In 1996, a large study known as the CARET study which was looking into the effects of the dietary supplements beta-carotene and retinol (vitamin A), was halted after the supplements were found to increase lung cancer risk, particularly among smokers. That study, and others, encouraged researchers to look more deeply into the relationship between supplements and lung cancer, Dr. Slatore said.
Beta-Carotene, vitamin E or vitamin A increasing risk of death American Medical Society February 2007 
Supplements have been getting a lot of attention this year. In February, the Journal of the American Medical Association published an overview of studies that found that supplements of beta-carotene, vitamin E, or vitamin A slightly increases a person's risk of death.
The recommendation of the National Cancer Institute related to supplements 
The recommendations of the NCI are: “The results of the Physicians' Health Study showed no benefit or harm to nonsmokers who took beta carotene every other day for 12 years. The results from CARET and the ATBC Study do not provide information about the effects of beta carotene supplements on non-smokers.
NCI does not make recommendations as to whether Americans should take supplements. For those who wish to reduce their risk of cancer, NCI advises that it is prudent to adopt a low-fat diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
In a comment from Daniel Fabricant from the Natural Products Association the findings reported at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Monday, May 21, suggesting that taking supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C and E and folate do not decrease the risk of lung cancer were questioned. 
 Lawson, Karla, A.; Wright, Margaret E.; Subar, Amy; Mouw, Traci; Hollenbeck, Albert; Schatzkin, Arthur; Leitzmann, Michael F.: Multivitamin Use and Risk of Prostate Cancer in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Volume 99, Issue 10, Pages 754-764; doi:10.1093/jnci/djk177
 Bjelakovic, Goran and Gluud, Christian: Surviving Antioxidant Supplements Editorial. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2007 99(10):742-743; doi:10.1093/jnci/djk211
 BBC News: Multivitamin prostate warning
 Fabricant, Daniel: Natural Products Association Questions Conclusions of New Study on Multivitamins and Prostate Cancer. May 15, 2007
 Science Daily: Some Vitamin Supplements Don't Protect Against Lung Cancer. May, 21, 2007
 NCI Beta Carotene trials}The National Cancer Institute: Questions and Answers About Beta Carotene Chemoprevention Trials.
 Fabricant, Daniel: Natural Products Association Challenges New Study on Lung Cancer and Vitamin Use May 21, 2007
The European Food Safety Authority released an opinion concerning pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) , a group of more than 350 individual compounds that share as a basic structure one of the four necine bases platynecine, retronecine, heliotridine, or otonecine. PAs are produced as secondary metabolites of more than 6000 plant species, belonging to the families of Boraginaceae, Compositae (Asteraceae) and Leguminosae (Fabaceae) and occur world-wide.
Basic alkaloids seem to accumulate in the seeds, whereas the respective N-oxides dominate in the green parts of a plant. In farm animals, however, acute intoxications caused by PAs are rare, as animals avoid PA containing plants if other feed is available. However, this recognition fails in preserved forages such as silage and hay.
PAs intoxication in animals
Acute intoxications: hepatotoxicity and hemorrhagic liver necrosis. Long-term exposure: hepatic megalocytosis, veno-occlusion in liver and to a lesser extent in the lungs, proliferation of the biliary tract epithelium, fatty liver degeneration and liver cirrhosis.
PAs intoxication in humans
In humans, PAs cause primarily hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD). Toxicological concerns about the potential human exposure to PAs were based on the results of extensive rodent studies indicating a carcinogenic potential of this class of compounds, and on the in vitro investigations that convincingly demonstrated that the dehydropyrrolic metabolites of PAs can form DNA-adducts, DNA-cross links and DNA-protein cross links, and result in genotoxicitiy and mutagenicity in a variety of bioassays conducted in rodent models.
PAs carry over in food
PAs are excreted with milk of dairy cows (and lactating sheep) albeit at a low rate, varying between 0.04 and 0.08 % of the ingested dose. Analyses in Australia indicated the presence of certain PAs in eggs. No residues have been found in other animal tissues. The contribution of the residues in animal derived tissues to human exposure is low; however, honey, in which PA residues are regularly found, deserves special attention.
 EFSA: Opinion of the Scientific Panel CONTAM related to pyrrolizidine alkaloids as undesirable substances in animal feed. Last update 25 May 2007
24.05.2007: Nestlé and CocaCola advertising weight control
Servane Rudelle and colleagues 2007 studied the effect on weight control of a beverage containing EGCG, green tea and caffeine. The authors found an increase in 24-hour energy expenditure of 100 kcal/d on account of this beverage.
The weight gain of the American population is slightly less than 1 kg/yr, which represents a median excess energy of 15 kcal/d, and because energy is stored with 50% efficiency, a negative energy balance of 100 kcal/d would be sufficient to prevent weight gain in most of the U.S. population The authors conclude that consuming this type of beverage regularly together with exercise, may be helpful in weight control.
Based on this study Nestlé and CocaCola launched its ENVIGA product advertising: Benefits: "burn more calories" "drink negative" 
The Center for Science in the Public Interest CSPI Says “Calorie Burning” and Weight Loss Claims Illegal 
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should take enforcement action against Coca-Cola and Nestlé for their unlawful deceptive advertising for Enviga, their green-tea-flavored diet soda, according to a complaint filled with the agency on May 2007 by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). At issue is the companies' claim that Enviga burns more calories than the five calories per can it delivers, which, CSPI says, strongly implies weight loss.
 Rudelle, Servane; Ferruzzi, Mario G.; Cristiani, Isabelle; Moulin, Juli; Macé, Katherine; Acheson, Kevin J. and
Tappy, Luc: Effect of a thermogenic beverage on 24-hour energy metabolism in humans. Obesity. 2007;15:349 –355.
Enviga, THE CALORIE BURNER:
Before the National Trade Commission: Petition to prohibit false and misleading advertising. Submitted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, May 21, 2007.
23.05.2007: Tea and obesity
Long-term consumption of green tea 
According to Yung-hsi and colleagues 200, long-term consumption of green tea may decrease the incidence of obesity and, perhaps, green tea components such as EGCG may be useful for treating obesity. The authors point out, however, that oolong tea was found to reduce obesity in mice, despite having much less EGCG that green tea does.
The authors calls for studies with purified components to identify the active componentsof tea.
Oolong tea 
According to Han and colleagues 1999 oolong tea has anti-obesity effects in high-fat diet-treated mice which might result from an enhancing effect of caffeine isolated from oolong tea The auithors suggest that oolong tea may be effective in treatment of obesity and fatty liver caused by a high-fat diet.
Effect of tea catechins on obesity 
Murase and colleagues 2002 studied the effects of long-term feeding with tea catechins, which are naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds widely consumed in Asian countries, on the development of obesity in mice. They found that the anti-obesity effects of tea catechins might be caused by the stimulation of the hepatic lipid metabolism They suggest that long-term consumption of tea catechins may help to suppress diet-induced obesity, and it may reduce the risk of coronary diseases.
Reduction of abdominal fat in humans 
Long-term feeding of tea catechins suppressed body fat accumulation in high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice, and that their effects might be attributed, at least in part, to the activation of hepatic lipid metabolism. Consecutive intake of tea catechins (588 mg/day) reduced body fat, especially abdominal fat in humans. These results demonstrate that intake of tea catechins is beneficial for body fat accumulation.
Epigallocathechin gallate (EGCG) and fat-reduction effect 
Wolfram and colleagues 2005 examined the antiobesity effect of tea epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), in mice fed with high-fat diet.
They found that food intake was not affected but faeces energy content was slightly increased by EGCG, indicating a reduced food digestibility and thus reduced long-term energy absorption, and conclude that d ietary EGCG attenuated diet-induced body fat accretion in mice. EGCG apparently promoted fat oxidation, but its fat-reducing effect could be entirely explained by its effect in reducing diet digestibility.
Wolfram and colleagues 2005, in a study from DSM Nutritional Products Ltd found that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), in a pure form, present in the commercial product TEAVIGO inhibited adipocyte differentiation in vitro, and concluded that supplementation with EGCG, abolishes diet-induced obesity, and should be considered as a valuable natural treatment option for obesity.
Antimitogenic effect of green tea epigallocatechin gallate 
Pei-Fang Hung and colleagues 2005 investigated the pathways of EGCG's modulation of the mitogenesis(cell- division) of preadipocytes. They found that EGCG inhibited preadipocyte 3T3-L1 proliferation These data demonstrate the ERK- and Cdk2-dependent antimitogenic effects of EGCG. Moreover, EGCG was more effective than epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin in changing the mitogenic signals. The signal of EGCG in reducing growth of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes differed from that of 3T3 fibroblasts. Reduction of obesity caused by EGCG may be linked to the inhibition of fat-cells division.
EGCG inhibits proliferation of fat-cels and induces autodestruction of fat-cells 
Green tea catechins have been shown to promote loss of body fat and to inhibit growth of many cancer cell types by inducing apoptosis. Ji Lin and colleagues 2005 studied the influence of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) on adipocytes to inhibit adipogenesis and induce apoptosis using mouse 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and mature adipocytes. The researchers found that EGCG had no effect on either viability or apoptosis of preconfluent preadipocytes. EGCG also did not affect viability of mature adipocytes; however, EGCG increased apoptosis in mature adipocytes and inhibited lipid accumulation in maturing preadipocytes.
The authors concluded that EGCG can act directly to inhibit differentiation of preadipocytes and to induce apoptosis of mature adipocytes and, thus, could be an important adjunct in the treatment of obesity.
EGCG downregulates the fat hormone Resistin expression by reducing the amounts of phospho-ERK1/2 proteins 
Resistin is a hormone discovered in 2001 and is a response of leucocytes to inflammation and participates in the inflammatory response, and this may be the link to insulin resistnce.
According to Hang-Seng Liu and colleagues 2006 resistin is an adipocyte-specific secretory hormone that can cause insulin resistance and decrease adipocyte differentiation, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) of green tea, have been reported to act against obesity and diabetes. The article of the authors suggest that EGCG may modulate the distribution of resistin protein between the intracellular and extracellular compartments. EGCG reduced the amounts of phospho-extracellular signal-related kinase-1/2 proteins (phospho-ERK1/2 proteins). The researchers conclude that EGCG downregulates Resistin expression via a pathway that is dependent on the ERK pathway.
Resistin controversy 
Most all findings (many times elucidated under the same experimental conditions) reported by groups opposing the resistin link theory are the exact opposite from what those groups who support the theopry have observed. The idea that resistin links obesity to type 2 diabetes mellitus is now under even more scrutiny as recent investigations have confirmed a rather vast expression of resistin in many tissues rather than those only characteristic of obesity such as adipocytes.
With nearly as many scientists against this theory as those scientists who seem to support it, the likelihood that resistin will ever be viewed as the key node linking obesity to type 2 diabetes mellitus in the near future is very low. The very extent to which these two views oppose each other raises questions about the synchrony and methodology used in these respective groups which resulted in polar opposite results.
Insufficient data of EGCG human trials 
Wolgang, Wang an Thielecke 2006 write that studies conducted with human subjects report reduced body weight and body fat, as well as increased fat oxidation and thermogenesis related to green tea. However, according to the authors, there is still a need for well-designed and controlled clinical studies to validate the studies. According to Wolfgang and colleagues specific effects of EGCG of green tea on obesity should be investigated in human trials.
Tea-catechins together with swimming reduces obesity gain by 20 percent 
we investigated the effects of long-term intake of tea catechins in combination with regular exercise on the development of obesity in mice. Tea-Catechins intake in combination with swimming exercise suppressed high fat diet-induced body-weight gain by 18 and 22%, respectively, compared to Exercise and tea-Catechins intake on their own. These results indicate that intake of tea Catechins, together with regular exercise helps to reduce diet-induced obesity. This effect might be attributed, at least in part, to the activation of whole-body energy metabolism.
 Yung-hsi Kao, Richard A Hiipakka and Shutsung Liao: Modulation of obesity by a green tea catechin : Letter to the Editor. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 72, No. 5, 1232-1233, November 2000
 Han LK, Takaku T, Li J, Kimura Y, Okuda H. Anti-obesity action of oolong tea. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1999;23:98–105.
 Murase, T.; Nagasawa, A.; Suzuki, J.; Hase, T.; Tokimitsu, I.: Beneficial effects of tea catechins on diet-induced obesity: stimulation of lipid catabolism in the liver. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 Nov;26(11):1459-64. PMID: 12439647
 Tokimitzu, I: Effects of tea catechins on lipid metabolism and body fat accumulation.Biofactors. 2004; 22 1-4:141-3. 2004;22(1-4):141-3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt
 Klaus, S.; Pültz, S.; Thöne-Reineke. C. and Wolfram, S.: Epigallocatechin gallate attenuates diet-induced obesity in mice by decreasing energy absorption and increasing fat oxidation. International Journal of Obesity (2005) 29, 615–623. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802926 Published online 1 March 2005
Wolfram, Swen; Raederstorff, Daniel; Wang, Yng; Teixeira, Sandra R.; Elste, Volker and Weber, Peter: TEAVIGO (epigallocatechin gallate) supplementation prevents obesity in rodents by reducing adipose tissue mass. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 2005;49:54-63 (DOI: 10.1159/000084178)
 Hung, Pei-Fang; Wu,Bo-Tsung; Chen, Hui-Chian; Chen, Yen-Hang; Chen, Chia-Lin; Wu, Ming-Hua; Liu, Hsien-Chun Lee, Meng-Jung, and Kao, Yung-Hsi: Antimitogenic effect of green tea (-)-epigallocatechin gallate on 3T3-L1 preadipocytes depends on the ERK and Cdk2 pathways Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, May 1, 2005; 288(5): C1094 - C1108.
 Lin, Ji; Della-Fera, Mary Anne and Baile, Clifton A.: Green Tea Polyphenol Epigallocatechin Gallate Inhibits Adipogenesis and Induces Apoptosis in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes. Obesity Research 13:982-990 (2005)
 Liu, Hang-Seng; Chen, Yen-Hang; Hung, Pei-Fang and Y.-H. Kao, Yung-Hsi: Inhibitory effect of green tea (-)-epigallocatechin gallate on resistin gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes depends on the ERK pathway Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, February 1, 2006; 290(2): E273 - E281.
 Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Resistin
 Wolfgang S., Wang, Y.Thielecke F.: Anti-obesity effects of green tea: from bedside to bench. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2006 Feb;50(2):176-87. Review. PMID: 16470636
 Murase, T.; Haramizu, S.; Shimotoyodome, A.; Tokimitsu, I: Reduction of diet-induced obesity by a combination of tea-catechin intake and regular swimming.
Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 Mar;30(3):561-8. PMID: 16247510
23.05.2007: Rennet animal-derived whey in Mars confectionaries 
According to Paul Goalby from Masterfoods , the company to began using whey from 1 May with "best before date" from 1 October onward at the MARS product range.
Rennet is an ingredient obtained from animal's stomachs turning the products unsuitable for strict vegetarians.
Mars UK removed the animal extract in Mars and Snickers Galaxy and Maltesers bars in May 2007, but Twix, Bounty, Celebrations, Topic and Milky Way, minstrel and the ice cream versions of all Masterfoods' bars. will continue to be unsuitable for vegetarians now, and they weren't suitable before,
Vegetarian rennet from moulds is not as cheap as animal rennet and is therefore being used for the production of some of Mars products.
Mars products unsuited for vegetarians, but there are no probles for kosher food eaters.
See also the article in OurFood-news : "14.05.2007: Kosher Status of Mars Products ":
The London Beth Din Kashrut Division Announcements says that whey derived from rennet source contains only trace amounts of rennet, it is permitted according to halacha. There is therefore no problem with any of the Masterfoods (Mars) products that are currently on the London Beth Din approved list.
 The Guardian unlimited: Mars backs down but vegetarians left baffled vegetarians. 21.05.07
22.05.2007: Health regulations related to bivalve molluscs and other marine species 
Health concerns related to shellfish, live bivalve molluscs and other aquatic animals contaminated with coli, salmonella or other bacteria or viruses as well as algal toxins are of public concern. Actual global warming may spur micro organisms in water turning and turn it necessary to tighten safety control on molluscs.
The Council Directive 91/492/EEC of 15 July 1991 lays down the health conditions for the production and the placing on the market of live bivalve molluscs. It define production areas from which molluscs can bet gathered for direct human consumption, or from which they have to be purified or relayed.
It is primarily the responsibility of the producers to ensure that the bivalve molluscs are produced and placed on the market in compliance with the health requirements prescribed; whereas the competent authorities must, carry out checks and inspections, to ensure that producers comply with those requirements do not contain microorganisms and toxic substances in quantities which are considered to be dangerous to human health.
Live bivalve molluscs from purification areas must not exceed the limits of a five-tube, three-dilution MPN-test of 6 000 faecal coliforms per 100 g of flesh or 4 600 E. Coli per 100 g of flesh in 90 % of samples.
Live bivalve molluscs from areas where they do not exceed the limits of a five-tube, three-dilution MPN-test of 60 000 faecal coliforms per 100 g of flesh.can be collected but placed on the market only after relaying over a long period (at least two months),
Requirements concerning live Bivalve Molluscs intended for immediate consumption
1. The possession of visual characteristics associated with freshness and viability, including shells free of dirt, an adequate response to percussion, and normal amounts of intravalvular liquid.
2. They must contain less than 300 faecal coliforms or less than 230 E. Coli per 100 g of mollusc flesh and intravalvular liquid based on a five-tube, three-dilution MPN-test or any other bacteriological procedure shown to be of equivalent accuracy.
3. They must not contain salmonella in 25 g of mollusc flesh.
4. They must not contain toxic or objectionable compounds occurring naturally or added to the environment such as those listed in the Annex to Directive 79/923/EEC. 
5. The upper limits as regards the radionuclide contents must not exceed the limits for foodstuffs as laid down by the Community.
6. The total Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) content in the edible parts of molluscs (the whole body or any part edible separately) must not exceed 80 microgrammes per 100 g of mollusc flesh in accordance with the biological testing method - in association if necessary with a chemical method for detection of Saxitoxin - or any other method recognized in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 12 of this Directive.
7. The customary biological testing methods must not give a positive result to the presence of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poison (DSP) in the edible parts of molluscs (the whole body or any part edible separately).
8. In the absence of routine virus testing procedures and the establishment of virological standards, health checks must be based on faecal bacteria counts.
Algal toxins, new detection methodes 
Algal toxins may be present in shellfish, molluscs and other marine and fresh water inhabitants. Global warming may spur algal blooms which highlights the importance of algal toxins detection.
|Algal Bloom in a German lake|
Decision 2002/225 EEC 
Maximum levels and Detection methods are described in the Decision .
(1) Chapter V, point 7, of the Annex to Directive 91/ 492/EEC provides that the customary biological testing methods must not give a positive result to the presence of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP)in the edible parts of molluscs(the whole body or any part edible separately).
(2) It has been scientifically proven that certain marine biotoxins such as those of the diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP)complex (okadaic acid (OA)and dinophysistoxins (DTXs)) and also yessotoxins (YTXs), pectenotoxins (PTXs)and azaspiracids (AZAs), pose a serious hazard to human health when present above certain limits in bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates or marine gastropods.
(3) In the light of recent scientific studies it is now possible to establish maximum levels and methods of analysis for those biotoxins.
This Decision lays down the maximum levels for the marine biotoxins of the diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP)complex (okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins), yessotoxins, pectenotoxins and azaspiracids and the methods of analysis to be used for their detection. It applies to bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods that are intended for immediate human consumption or for further processing before consumption.
Okadaic acid, dinophysistoxins and pectenotoxins together: 160 μg of okadaic acid equivalents/kg.
Yessotoxins: 1 mg of yessotoxin equivalent/kg.
Azaspiracids: 160 μg of azaspiracid equivalents/kg.
Detection methods are described in the Decision 2002/225 EEC:
Biological methods: Use mice or rats. The tests involve the death of the animals.
Alternative detection methods: A series of methods such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)with fluorimetric detection, liquid chromatography (LC)-mass spectrometry (MS), inmunoassays and functional assays such as the phosphatase inhibition assay can be used as alternative or complementary methods to the biological testing methods, provided that either alone or combined they can detect at least the following analogues, that they are not less effective than the biological methods and that their implementation provides an equivalent level of public health protection:
- okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins: an hydrolysis step may be required in order to detect the presence
- pectenotoxins: PTX1 and PTX2,
- yessotoxins: YTX, 45 OH YTX, homo YTX, and 45 OH homo YTX,
- azaspiracids: AZA1, AZA2 and AZA3.
On market available kits for the detection of algal toxins
Saxitoxin (STX): is a neurotoxin found in marine dinoflagellates (algae). It is a selective sodium channel blocker. It is so strong that it is known as "TZ" chemical weapon by the U.S. military with the LCt50 of 5 mg . min/m3. 
The medical importance is in relation to red tide in shellfisch because of the paralytical shellfish poisoning (PSP) food poisoning. The blocking of the sodium channel produces a flaccid paralysis that leaves its victim calm and conscious through the progression. Death is caused by respiratory failure. 
A Saxitoxin (PSP) algal toxin immunoassay ELISA kit is now commercially available among others:
The Direct ELISA Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) has proved to be a sensitive and rapid method for phycotoxin detection, such as:
Yessotoxin (YTX) : Yessotoxin and its analogues produced by marine algae, in particular Protoceratium reticulatum and Gonyaulax polyedra. YTX is known to accumulate in shellfish meat and is regarded as hepatotoxic and cardiotoxic when ingested above a certain level . The yessotoxins have previously been included in the diarrhetic shellfish poison (DSP) group, but the YTX chemistry and toxicology differ distinctly from the DSP toxin family. The European Commision recently placed the yessotoxins in a separate phycotoxin group, and implemented a maximum permitted level (MPL) of 1 mg YTX eqvivalents/kg shellfish intended for human consumption (Directive 2002/225/EC). 
Microcystins / nodularins and its congeners detection kit: It responds to a broad range of the toxic microcystin congeners, as well as the structurally related nodularin toxins.The ELISA is derived from antibodies recognizing 6E-ADDA,the common structural feature present in the toxic congeners of microcystins and nodularins. 
Microcystine ELISA Test: Microcystins and the structurally related nodularins are toxins produced by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Acute poisoning in humans and animals can be caused by these toxins and in several cases has led to death. These toxins inhibit liver function and might act as tumor promoters. Many different structural variants (congeners) are found, with the most common variant being microcystin-LR. To protect public health, the WHO has proposed a provisional upper limit for microcystin-LR of 1 ppb in drinking water. 
Dominoic acid: The amnesic shellfish poison (ASP) toxins, domoic acid (DA) and DA isomers are water-soluble neurotoxins produced by a number of marine algae, in particular by the microalgae of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia. Blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. may lead to the accumulation of DA in shellfish filter feeders and other marine species. Ingestion of DA contaminated shellfish may lead to amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) by affecting the central nervous system, and has caused the death of both animal and human consumers in severe cases. The European Commission Directive 2002/226/EC implemented a maximum permitted level (MPL) of 20 mg DA/kg shellfish intended for human consumption. This MPL is adopted by the regulatory authorities in most other countries.
This quantitative DA EIA kit detects DA in water samples shellfish and algal extracts The assay is primarily intended for use in routine monitoring of DA levels in bivalve molluscs to comply with the regulatory MPL, but is also applicable for DA quantification in the marine matrixes. 
Cylindrospermopsin: It is a naturally produced toxin of several cyanobacterial strains and has been found in fresh water throughout the world. Certain strains of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (Australia, Hungary, United States), Umezakia natans (Japan), Aphanizomenon ovalisporum (Australia, Israel) have been found to produce cylindrospermopsin. The production of cylindrospermopsin seems to be strain specific and not species specific. The antibody binds Cylindrospermopsin The assay sensitivity allows the determination of Cylindrospermopsin in a range of environmental samples (water, fish tissue, fish plasma, etc.). 
 Council Directive 91/492/EEC of 15 July 1991 laying down the health conditions for the production and the placing on the market of live bivalve molluscs.
Council Directive 79/923/EEC of 30 October 1979 on the quality required of shellfish waters
 European Commission: (2002/225/EC) Decision of 15 March 2002 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Directive 91/492/EEC as regards the maximum levels and the methods of analysis of certain marine biotoxins in bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods (notified under document number C(2002) 1001)
21.05.2007 BASF GM potatoes release between 2007 and 2011 in Germany 
The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) approved the release of genetic modified potato, developed by BASF Plant Science in ten cultivation areas in Germany between 2007 and 2011. The approval is extended all over Germany, including Bavaria. The BVL does not expect any safety incidences which might endanger man and animals.
The marker gene used in these potato varieties, makes them resistant against the antibiotic kanamycin. The European Food Safety Authority has already identified no safety concerns which may have an adverse effect upon approval.
Measures to avoid spread out of the GM potato imposed by BVL
The gene of the tale cress weed Arabidopsis thaliana together with a gene of a wild potato changes the starch composition of the potato . 677 strains of GM potatoes will be tested. Some strains will express amylose, other will express only amylopectine. They are tolerant to the herbicide Imazamox
BASF GE potato field trial considered as illegal in The Netherlands 
On 7 March 2007, The Council of State in The Netherlands judged that the field trials of BASF concerning three GM potato herbicide-resistant varieties, two with changed starch content and one with high late blight resistance, were illegal and destroyed the permits immediately.
The potato contains only starch with the amylopectin component, and delivers renewable raw material to the starch industry.
(1) The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL): Press release: BVL genehmigt Freisetzung gentechnisch veränderter Kartoffeln. 19.04.2007
 Raad van State, nl: Uitspraak in de gedingen tussen: de stichting "Stichting Greenpeace Nederland", verdict 16397
19.05.2007: UK and Packaging waste reduction 
The Guide to Evolving Packaging Design published by Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) is focused on retailers and manufacturers. Important companies have signed commitment to cut down on packaging going to landfill. 
Retailers can push their suppliers to reduce the amount of material used or moving to more recyclable, reusable and biodegradable materials.
New annual targets set by UK regulations increase manufacturers' obligations to the market to recover and recycle their packaging under the international and European pressure on the UK to decrease carbon emissions.
Reducing the weight of beer bottles spares glass and transport costs. Other companies changed from glass to plastic bottles and succeeded to set it on market.
Experts should bear in mind that migration of pasticizers and other unwanted chemicals takes place from the plastic bottle to the food, which is not present when glass is used. The oxygen barrier is not as perfect as the 100% barrier of glass bottles.
Another idea was to use different containers for similar products simplifying processes.
Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) 
The regulations allow accredited waste reprocessing companies to sell Packaging Waste Recovery Notes (PRNs) for every tonne of packaging waste they recycle. Companies with £2m turnover or handling in excess of 50 tonnes of packaging a year meet their obligation, assessed under the scheme, by buying PRNs. The profits are reinvested in the recycling infrastructure. This resembles the European Green Dot, where all packaging pay fees for the recycling. This system is not compulsory in UK. 
 Wrap: Material change for a better environment
 Retail: Wrap: The Guide to Evolving Packaging Design
 Valpack: The Green Dot Licensing
19.05.2007: Estrogenic effects of food wrap packaging 
Estrogenicity of xenoestrogens found in food wrap packaging and phytoestrogen flavonoids. Uterotrophic and vaginal cornification assays were studied on rats by Stroheker and colleauges in 2003. Genistein, bisphenol F, and octylphenol were identified as estrogenic only in immature rats. While apigenin and kaempferol appeared to have low estrogenic activity, they potentialized the uterotrophic effect of 17 beta-estradiol in immature rats.
In this study the authors found that phytoestrogens like genistein can be as potent or even more estrogenic than compounds found in food wrap packaging. Tha authors suggest the vaginal cornification to used as a sensitive and useful test to detect weak estrogenic compounds to which humans can be exposed via food.
Stroheker, Thomas; Chagnon, Marie-Christine; Pinnert, Marie-France; Berges, Raymond and Canivenc-Lavier, Marie-Chantal:Estrogenic effects of food wrap packaging xenoestrogens and flavonoids in female Wistar rats: a comparative study Reprod Toxicol. 2003 Jul-Aug;17(4):421-32. Doi 10.1016/S0890-6238(03)00044-3
19.05.2007: Low-calories, low dietary energy density and physical activity in the fight against high blood pressure and obesity
PREMIER: Lifestyle Interventions for Blood Pressure Control 
The PREMIER study compared the effectiveness of advice of the Comprehensive Intervention and the DASH Intervention. Both multicomponent lifestyle interventions aimed to control blood pressure.
Comprehensive Intervention: Reduced sodium intake, increased physical activity, weight loss, and moderate alcohol ingestion are associated with a modest reduction of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in with high normal and Stage 1 hypertension.
The DASH Intervention: The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study found that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and decreased saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol reduced both diastolic and systolic blood pressure in similar baseline blood pressure groups.
Outcomes from the PREMIER study 
The PREMIER writing group, leaded by Apel wrote in 2003 that both behavioral interventions significantly reduced weight, improved fitness, and lowered sodium intake. The established plus DASH intervention also increased fruit, vegetable, and dairy intake. Individuals with above-optimal BP, including stage 1 hypertension, can make multiple lifestyle changes that lower BP and reduce their cardiovascular disease risk.
Both behavioral interventions significantly reduced weight, improved fitness, and lowered sodium intake. The established plus DASH intervention also increased fruit, vegetable, and dairy intake. Across the groups, gradients in BP and hypertensive status were evident.
Dietary Energy Density Reduction 
Jenny Ledikwe and colleagues 2007 found that participants of the PREMIER study maintained weight loss after dieting adhering to a low calorie, low energy density diet, even when large amounts of low calorie, low energy density foods were consumed. Both large and modest energy density reductions were associated with weight loss and improved diet quality.
The researchers found that the energy density of the diet was decisive. Participants on a low energy density diet reported the same weight loss as those on low calorie high physical activity diets. However, the low energy density group reported consuming the largest increase in the weight of food consumed as well as increased intakes of fruit, vegetables, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Even a modest reduction in energy density accomplished reduced body weight.
The authors therefore concluded that a reduction in dietary energy density was a healthy weight management strategy
Low Energy density may reduce physical activity necessary to maintain weight. 
Tiffany L. Cox and colleagues 2007 determined the role of physical activity and energy intake on weight maintenance among former EatRight Weight Management Program participants.
The authors found that 80% of participants maintained their body weight and 20% had gained weight. Maintainers consumed 384 fewer kcal/d on average. Maintainers had a lower energy density dietary pattern (1.58 vs. 2.01 kcal/g,). There was no significant difference in physical activity min/d reported by maintainers and gainers. even for people who did not exercise regularly .Adopting a lower calorie, low energy density dietary pattern may reduce the amount of physical activity that is truly necessary for weight maintenance. This is a new hope for those who cannot maintain a certain level of their daily exercise
EatRight model 
EatRight model encourages the intake of foods that have fewer calories by volume such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while limiting consumption of foods that are calorie-dense such as meats, cheeses, sugars and fats, and includes increasing physical activity and behavioural intervention to reduce or remove barriers to lifestyle change.
 U.S. National Institutes of Health: PREMIER: Lifestyle Interventions for Blood Pressure Control
 Appel LJ, Champagne CM, Harsha DW; Obarzanek E; Elmer PJ, Steves VJ, Vollmer WM, Lin PH, Svetkey LP, Stedman SW, Young DR; Writing Group of the PREMIERE Collaborative Research Group: Effects of comprehensive lifestyle modification on blood pressure control: main results of the PREMIER clinical trial.JAMA 2003 Apr 23-30;289(16):2083-93
 Ledikwe, Jenny H.; Rolls, Barbara J.; Smiciklas-Wright, Helen; Mitchell, Diane C.; Ard, Jamy D.; Champagne, Catherine;Karanja, Njeri; Lin, Pao-Hwa; Stevens, Victor and Appel, Lawrence J.: Reductions in dietary energy density are associated with weight loss in overweight and obese participants in the PREMIER trial.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 5, 1212-1221, May 2007
 Cox, Tiffany L.; Malpede, Christie Z.; Desmond, Renee A.; Faulk, Lori E.; Myer, Rory A.; Henson, ; Heimburger, Douglas C. and Ard, Jamy D.: Physical Activity Patterns During Weight Maintenance Following a Low-energy Density Dietary Intervention: Obesity 15:1226-1232 (2007)
 American Dietetic Association
18.05.2007: International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Food Security 
The UN's FAO held a conference in Rome last week on Organic Agriculture and Food Security, in partnership with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Rome, 03 - 05 May 2007.The transcription of the documents presented at the Conference are available at :
Summary of outcomes of the Conference 
FAO underlines in a paper, Organic Agriculture and Food Security, presented at an International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Food Security. 
The paper identifies the strengths and weaknesses of organic agriculture with regards to its contribution to food security, analyses attributes of organic supply chains against the Right to Food framework and proposes policy and research actions for improving the performance of organic agriculture at the national, international and institutional levels.
“The strongest feature of organic agriculture is its reliance on fossil-fuel independent and locally-available production assets; working with natural processes increases cost-effectiveness and resilience of agro-ecosystems to climatic stress,” the paper says.
“By managing biodiversity in time (rotations) and space (mixed cropping), organic farmers use their labour and environmental services to intensify production in a sustainable way. Organic agriculture also breaks the vicious circle of indebtedness for agricultural inputs which causes an alarming rate of farmers’ suicides.”
The paper recognizes that “most certified organic food production in developing countries goes to export” and adds that “when certified cash crops are linked with agro-ecological improvements and accrued income for poor farmers, this leads to improved food self-reliance and revitalization of small holder agriculture.”
Knowledge and labour intensive
The paper underlines that some requirements should be met when converting to organic agriculture, mainly agro-ecological knowledge and labour availability. “Organic management is a knowledge-based approach requiring understanding of agro-ecological processes and it remains a constraint where labour is scarce, such as in populations decimated by HIV/AIDS.”
However, labour requirements on organic farms, and the better return on labour, provide employment opportunities where this resource is most abundant, thus safeguarding rural livelihoods, according to FAO expert Nadia Scialabba.
The paper also quotes recent models of a global food supply grown organically which indicate that organic agriculture could produce enough food on a global per capita basis for the current world population.
“These models suggest that organic agriculture has the potential to secure a global food supply, just as conventional agriculture is today, but with reduced environmental impact,” according to FAO.
The paper calls on governments to “allocate resources for organic agriculture and to integrate its objectives and actions within their national agricultural development and poverty reduction strategies, with particular emphasis on the needs of vulnerable groups.”
It also insists on investment in human resource development and skill training in organic agriculture as part of sustainable development strategies.
The report from the conference will be presented to the 33rd committee on World Food Security. IFOAM expects this will result in FAO policy chances that favour organic agriculture.
Definition of organic agriculture 
According to the Codex Alimentarius Commission and all existing national regulations, “organic agriculture is a holistic production management system that avoids use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms, minimizes pollution of air, soil and water, and optimizes the health and productivity of interdependent communities of plants, animals and people.”
The report from the conference will be presented to the 33rd committee on World Food Security. IFOAM expects this will result in FAO policy chances that favour organic agriculture.
Important links to Organic Agriculture at FAO FAO websites of interest to organic agriculture and database
 International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Food Security (3-5 May 2007). Press Releases.
 FAO Newsroom 03.05.2007: Meeting the food security challenge through organic agriculture
States should integrate organic agriculture objectives within national priorities, FAO says
 Codex Alimentarius: Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labelling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods. CAC/GL32 2004
International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Food Security %5B1%5D The UN%27s FAO held a conference in Rome last week on Organic Agriculture and Food Security, in partnership with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements %28IFOAM%29 Rome, 03 - 05 May 2007.The transcription of the documents presented at the Conference are available at : http://www.fao.org/organicag/ofs/docs_en.htm Summary of outcomes of the Conference %5B2%5D FAO underlines in a paper, Organic Agriculture and Food Security, presented at an International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Food Security. %5B2%5D The paper identifies the strengths and weaknesses of organic agriculture with regards to its contribution to food security, analyses attributes of organic supply chains against the Right to Food framework and proposes policy and research actions for improving the performance of organic agriculture at the national, international and institutional levels. %E2%80%9CThe strongest feature of organic agriculture is its reliance on fossil-fuel independent and locally-available production assets; working with natural processes increases cost-effectiveness and resilience of agro-ecosystems to climatic stress,%E2%80%9D the paper says. %E2%80%9CBy managing biodiversity in time %28rotations%29 and space %28mixed cropping%29, organic farmers use their labour and environmental services to intensify production in a sustainable way. Organic agriculture also breaks the vicious circle of indebtedness for agricultural inputs which causes an alarming rate of farmers%E2%80%99 suicides.%E2%80%9D The paper recognizes that %E2%80%9Cmost certified organic food production in developing countries goes to export%E2%80%9D and adds that %E2%80%9Cwhen certified cash crops are linked with agro-ecological improvements and accrued income for poor farmers, this leads to improved food self-reliance and revitalization of small holder agriculture.%E2%80%9D Knowledge and labour intensive The paper underlines that some requirements should be met when converting to organic agriculture, mainly agro-ecological knowledge and labour availability. %E2%80%9COrganic management is a knowledge-based approach requiring understanding of agro-ecological processes and it remains a constraint where labour is scarce, such as in populations decimated by HIV/AIDS.%E2%80%9D However, labour requirements on organic farms, and the better return on labour, provide employment opportunities where this resource is most abundant, thus safeguarding rural livelihoods, according to FAO expert Nadia Scialabba. The paper also quotes recent models of a global food supply grown organically which indicate that organic agriculture could produce enough food on a global per capita basis for the current world population. %E2%80%9CThese models suggest that organic agriculture has the potential to secure a global food supply, just as conventional agriculture is today, but with reduced environmental impact,%E2%80%9D according to FAO. The paper calls on governments to %E2%80%9Callocate resources for organic agriculture and to integrate its objectives and actions within their national agricultural development and poverty reduction strategies, with particular emphasis on the needs of vulnerable groups.%E2%80%9D It also insists on investment in human resource development and skill training in organic agriculture as part of sustainable development strategies. The report from the conference will be presented to the 33rd committee on World Food Security. IFOAM expects this will result in FAO policy chances that favour organic agriculture. Definition of organic agriculture %5B3%5D According to the Codex Alimentarius Commission and all existing national regulations, %E2%80%9Corganic agriculture is a holistic production management system that avoids use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms, minimizes pollution of air, soil and water, and optimizes the health and productivity of interdependent communities of plants, animals and people.%E2%80%9D The report from the conference will be presented to the 33rd committee on World Food Security. IFOAM expects this will result in FAO policy chances that favour organic agriculture. Links Important links to Organic Agriculture at FAO FAO websites of interest to organic agriculture and database http://www.fao.org/organicag/frame9-e.htm %5B1%5D International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Food Security %283-5 May 2007%29. Press Releases. http://www.fao.org/organicag/ofs/press_en.htm %5B2%5D FAO Newsroom 03.05.2007: Meeting the food security challenge through organic agriculture States should integrate organic agriculture objectives within national priorities, FAO says http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000550/index.html %5B3%5D Codex Alimentarius: Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labelling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods. CAC/GL32 2004 http://www.codexalimentarius.net/download/standards/360/CXG_032e.pdf
18.05.2007 Splenda an example of self-destroying marketing 
Sucrose known as sugar has been replaced in American European industrial food production by other sweeteners such as fructose syrups or combinations of functional ingredients and high intensity sweeteners. This is due to the subsidization of corn in the United States, which has led to a vast surplus and driven the price of corn syrup far below that of sugar. 
Sucralose, E955 is sold under the Splenda brand since 1991. The EU approved it in 2004. It is up to 1000 times as sweet as sugar and is stable when heated, and therefore can be used in backing.
It is manufactured by the selective chlorination of sucrose, in which three of the hydroxyl groups are replaced with chlorine to produce trichlorosucrose or C12H19Cl3O8. Sucralose is mixed with the corn bulking agents maltodextrin and dextrose. Sucralose is used as a replacement or in combination with other artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame potassium or high-fructose corn syrup. 
Sucralose has been accepted by several national and international food safety regulatory bodies, including the FDA, Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives, The European Union's Scientific Committee on Food, Health Protection Branch of Health and Welfare Canada and Food Standards Australia-New Zealand (FSANZ).
The acceptable daily intake for sucralose is 9 mg/kg of body weight per day. 
Acceptable daily intake (mg/kg body weight/day) of some sweeteners:
Acesulfame K 15
Sucralose 15 Canada has a more conservative ADI of 9 mg/kg body weight/day
Ref.: 1996 FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee Food 
Sucrose ( table sugar, saccharose): It consists of two monosaccharides, alfa-glucose and fructose, joined by a glycosidic bond between carbon atom 1 of the glucose unit and carbon atom 2 of the fructose unit. What is notable about sucrose is that unlike most polysaccharides, the glycosidic bond is formed between the reducing ends of both glucose and fructose, and not between the reducing end of one and the nonreducing end of the other. Sucrose is covalently bonded due to the non ionic attraction of the carbon and oxygen atoms. The effect of this inhibits further bonding to other saccharide units. Since it contains no free anomeric carbon atom, it is classified as a nonreducing sugar. Sucrose does not contain chlorine.
Sucrose ( table sugar, saccharose): It consists of two monosaccharides, alfa-glucose and fructose, joined by a glycosidic bond between carbon atom 1 of the glucose unit and carbon atom 2 of the fructose unit. What is notable about sucrose is that unlike most polysaccharides, the glycosidic bond is formed between the reducing ends of both glucose and fructose, and not between the reducing end of one and the nonreducing end of the other. Sucrose is covalently bonded due to the non ionic attraction of the carbon and oxygen atoms. The effect of this inhibits further bonding to other saccharide units. Since it contains no free anomeric carbon atom, it is classified as a nonreducing sugar. Sucrose does not contain chlorine. 
|Source: Wikipedia: Sucrose|
Tough marketing from Splenda and its outcome
The acceptance of sucralose by almost all food safety regulatory bodies is a high scientific support on safety of sucralose. This advantage is being put at risk by McNeil, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson which produces and markets Blenda. It is inconceivable that McNeil opens the door to a public discussion concerning misleading advertising of their product which highlights the organochloride chemical constitution and its deep chemical modification of sugar. With a vague slogan McNeil fought at no man's land.
The last inches
Following the premisses of commercial marketing the last inches of the boundaries of legality were used by Splenda:
Splenda was marketed as “No calorie sweetener,”
"Has no calories (Less than 5) and no carbohydrates (less than 1 gram) per serving." 
"Contains 96 calories per cup - sugar contains 770 calories per cup!" 
Splenda actually contains two calories per teaspoon. Such labelling is legal in the U.S. FDA' regulations permit a product to be labeled as "zero calories" if the "food contains less than 5 calories per reference amount customarily consumed and per labeled serving." 
Splenda contains a relatively small amount of sucralose because it is extremely sweet and little of that is metabolized anyway since sucralose is an organochloride. Virtually all of Splenda's caloric content derives from the highly fluffed dextrose and/or maltodextrin bulking agent, that gives Splenda its volume. Like other carbohydrates, dextrose and maltodextrin have approximately 4.5 calories per gram. 
Court decision against Splenda
Merisant, the makers of Equal, sued Splenda in France and in the United States over Splenda's slogan, "made from sugar so it tastes like sugar," The Sugar Association, trying to pep up the image of sugar say is misleading. 
In May 2007 a French court decided the marketing adds to be illegal misleading and ordered Merisat to withdraw their adds. In United States Merisat reached an undisclosed settlement with Equal to avoid a defeat at US court.
The disaster of aggressive marketing
The outcome of this marketing strategy is feeding new discussions that chronic consumption may lead to thymus shrinkage or other side-effects . Sucralose is an Organochloride also known as chlorocarbon. Although many chlorocarbons are toxic, sucralose is not known to be toxic in small quantities and is extremely insoluble in fat, so it can not accumulate in fat like most chlorinated hydrocarbons, but the bad image of this chemical group persists.
The consumer advocacy group Citizens for Health has filed a petition with the FDA asking the approval of Splenda to be withdrawn until additional investigation of claimed side effects such as stomach pain and other digestion problems are cleared. 
Food and Diet maintains a webside with a list of symptoms of troubles from using Splenda 
The U.S. Sugar Association has also started a web site where they put forward their criticism of sucralose. 
The world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods Whole Food Markets, included sucralose in its list of unacceptable food ingredients.
According to Food and Diet's website, numerous claims have been filed about possible side effect complaints by users of sucralose-containing products including drug-like feelings of disorientation and confusion, headaches, depression, anxiety, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, and more. 
 Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Sucralose
 Splenda Webpage: Splenda- No Calorie Sweetener, Granular
 Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Volume 2, Pg. 95 – 101
 Website of the Sugar Association The truth about Splenda
Wolever T, Barbeau M-C, Charron S, et al. Guidelines for the nutritional management of diabetes mellitus in the new millennium: a position statement by the Canadian Diabetes Association. Can J Diabetes Care. 1999;2(3):56-69
 Foodanddiet.com: Splenda
 Wikipedia, the free enzyclopedia: Sucrose
 National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme File NA/944 November 2001
Wikipedia, the free enzyclopedia: Chlorocarbon
msnbc: Sugar industry files complaint over Splenda
 Whole Foods Market: Quality Standards: Unacceptable Food Ingredients
17.05.2007 New fruit sweetener with low glycemic index 
A natural fruit concentrate produced in Spain by Wild Deprovesa from various fruits contains a wide range of sugars with a balanced ratio of the carbohydrates fructose, glucose and sucrose in the fruit concentrate – as it occurs naturally in fruit concentrate blends has a glycemic index of 34. That is the lowest index compared to other natural fruit sweeteners.
According to the producer some of the energy is available immediately, while the body also receives energy on a more sustained basis, being perfect for sport drinks and suitable for use in near water beverages, herbal or tea drinks with all-natural ingredients or beverages with a low glycemic index, in dairy products, bakery and confectionery as well as ice cream products.
This new sweetener may help dairy industry to reformulate the fruit yoghurt, soft drinks and other products using corn or wheat syrup leading to a clean label. The company, however, could not answer my question on how this sweetener is to be labelled in the ingredient list of fruit yoghurt.
For more informations go to the article : 14.05.2007 Reformulating Fruit Yoghurt in www.ourfood-news.com
 Fruit Up - The Natural Fruit Sweetener with the Low Glycemic Index Information from Wild
16.05.2007: Glycemic index
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels
Low GI carbs, producing small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels, reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes and helps to control weight.
According to the Glycemic Index low GI foods are breakfast cereals based on oats, barleyand bran, breads with wholegrains, stone-ground flour, sour dough all other types of fruit and vegetables except potatoes, Basmati or Doongara rice, pasta, noodles, quinoa, salad vegetables with a vinaigrette dressing Foods containing little or no carbohydrate (such as meat, fish, eggs, avocado, wine, beer, spirits, mostvegetables) cannot have a GI value. No carbs = no GI.
Some foods on the Australian market already show their GI rating on the nutrition information panel. Terms such as complex carbohydrates and sugars, which commonly appear on food labels, are now recognised as having little nutritional or physiological significance. The WHO/FAO recommend that these terms be removed and replaced with the total carbohydrate content of the food and its GI value. 
Glycemic Index Databank
The Human Nutrition Unit at the University of Sydney hosts the GI Databank and tests foods on its Glycemic index. The Databank can be accessed at the Glycemic Index.com homepage.
International Table of Glycemic Index
Jennie Brand Miller is the senior author of International The International Tables of Glycemic Index published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1995 and 2002.
The GI has proven to be a more useful nutritional concept than is the chemical classification of carbohydrate (as simple orcomplex, as sugars or starches, or as available or unavailable), permitting new insights into the relation between the physiologic effects of carbohydrate-rich foods and health. Two similar foods may have different ingredients or may have been processed with a different method, resulting in significant differences in the rate of carbohydrate digestion and hence the GI value. 
The glycemic load of a food is determined by multiplying its glycemic index by its available carbohydrate content perserving. 
Glycemic index reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity 
A randomized,controlled trial conducted by Prof Jennie Brand-Miller, Joanna McMillan-Price and colleagues from the University of Sydney compared the effects on weight loss and cardiovascular risk of low–glycemic index (GI) and high-protein diets. Four diets of varying GL on weight loss and reducing cardiovascular disease risk in young overweight or obese adults.
Brand Miller and colleagues concluded that both high-protein and low-GI regimens increase body fat loss, but cardiovascular risk reduction is optimized by a high-carbohydrate, low-GI diet.
The researchers conclude further that dietary glycemic load and not just overall energy intake, influences weight loss and postprandial glycemia .Diets based on low GI wholegrain products maximise cardiovascular risk reduction, particular if protein intake is high.
Peter Clifton, however disagrees with the conclusions of the study. 
Reduction of Glycemic Load
Reducing glycemic load may be especially important to achieve weight loss among individuals with high insulin secretion. Regardless of insulin secretion, a low–glycemic load diet has beneficialeffects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations but not on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration. 
Glycemic index and pregnancy
Robert G Moses and colleagues compared the effects of low-GI and conventional dietary strategies on pregnancy outcomes in healthy women. Glycemic indexmay be of particular relevance during pregnacy because maternal glucose is the main energy substrate for intrauterine growth. The authors found that birth weight and ponderal index may predict chronic disease in later life. A low-GI diet may, therefore, favorably influence long-term outcomes. 
High Glycemic Index may lead to high oxidative stress.
According to Hu and colleagues 2006 acute hyperglycemia may increase in vivo free radical production increasing the risk of many diseases. Chronic consumption of high-GI foods may lead to chronically high oxidative stress. A low-GI diet, not a low-carbohydrate diet, appears to be beneficial in reducing oxidative stress. 
 The Glycimic Index and the GI Database
McMillan-Price,Joanna; Petocz, Peter; Atkinson, Fiona; O’Neill, Katleen; Samman, Samir; Steinbeck, Katherine; Caterson, Ian; Brand-Miller, Jennie: Comparison of 4 diets of varying glycemic load on weight loss and cardiovascular risk reduction in overweight and obese young adults: a randomised controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1466-1475.
02.05.2007: Premature and low birth weight babies may develop less allergies in later life when they are exposed to allergens early. 
Liem and colleagues (2007) in a Canadian study, found that immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract or immune response of prematurity and low birth weight does not change the risk for development of IgE-mediated food allergies allergy in childhood.
The researchers disagree with previous studies indicating that at an age less than 3 years the immature gastrointestinal tracts result in an increased uptake of food antigens, increasing the risk for sensitization but in this study they found that food allergy was associated with a maternal history of asthma and food allergy.
The authors write that a development of immunologic tolerance of the immature immune system to orally ingested allergens may take place, preventing sensitivation.
They call for more studies to find out how early exposure to food antigens, such as pre- and probiotics traces of peanuts, may protect premature children by increasing immune tolerance to those antigens.
 Liem, Joel J.: Kozyrskyj, Anita L.; Huq Shamima I. and Becker, Allan B.: The risk of developing food allergy in premature or low-birth-weight children. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology May 2007, Volume 119, Issue 5, Pages 1203-1209 doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2006.12.671
01.05.2007: Codex Alimentarius: Draft Revised Standard for Infant Formula and Formulas for Special Medical Purposes Intended for Infants   
Infant formulas are changing and efforts are made to include new ingredients. Global implementation and observance of the Codex Standard for infant formulas should therefore be encouraged. A short review is given here.
The Codex in its ALINORM 05/28/26(2004) - 06/29/26(2005) and 07/30/26 Rev(2006) lays
down the standard for the composition of infant formulas. Highlights of this standard are:
Definition of infant formula
Infant formula means a breast-milk substitute specially manufactured to satisfy, by itself, the nutritional requirements of infants during the first months of life up to the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding.
Infant formula is so processed by physical means only and so packaged as to prevent spoilage and contamination under all normal conditions of handling, storage and distribution in the country where the product is sold. The term infant means a person not more than 12 months of age.
Infant formula is a product based on milk of cows or other animals and/or other ingredients which have been proven to be suitable for infant feeding. The nutritional safety and adequacy of infant formula shall be scientifically demonstrated to support growth and development of infants.
All ingredients and food additives used shall be gluten-free.
Essential and semi-essential amino acids in breast milk
For an equal energy value the formula must contain an available quantity of each essential and semi-essential amino acid at least equal to that contained in the reference protein (breast-milk as defined in Annex 1 of the Standard).
Infant formula prepared ready for consumption in accordance with instructions of the manufacturer shall contain per 100 ml not less than 60 kcal (250 kJ) and not more than 70 kcal (295 kJ) of energy.
Isolated amino acids may be added to Infant Formula only to improve its nutritional value for infants. Essential and semi-essential amino acids may be added to improve protein quality, only in amounts necessary for that purpose. Only L-forms of amino acids shall be used.
Nutrients of infant formula
Nutrients in 100 g/ml are given in table 3.1.3 of the Standard.
In addition to the compositional requirements listed under 3.1, other ingredients may be added in order to provide substances ordinarily found in human milk and to ensure that the formulation is suitable as the sole source of nutrition for the infant. Only L(+) producing lactic acid cultures may be used.
Vitamin Compounds and Mineral Salts
Vitamins and minerals added should be selected from the Advisory Lists of Mineral Salts and Vitamin Compounds for Use in Foods for Infants and Children (CAC/GL 10-1979). 
The product and its components shall not contain commercially hydrogenated oils and fats and shall not have been treated by ionizing radiation.
In this Standard part 4. the permitted food additives are grouped as thickening agents, emulsifiers, pH adjusting Agents, Antioxidants and packaging gas (propellants).
The standard sets a maximum level of lead of 0.02 mg/kg (in the ready-to-use product)
The product should comply with the appropriate sections of the following codes:
- Recommended International Code of Practice - General Principles of Food Hygiene (CAC/RCP 1 1969, Rev. 3 – 1997). 
- Recommended International Code of Hygienic Practice for Foods for Infants and Children (CAC/RCP 21-1979). 
- Principles for the Establishment and Application of Microbiological Criteria for Foods (CAC/GL 21-1997) 
Fill of Container
In the case of products in ready-to-eat form, the fill of container shall be:
- Not less than 80\% v/v for products weighing less than 150 g (5 oz.)
- Not less than 85\% v/v for products in the weight range 150-250 g (5-8 oz.)
- Not less than 90\% v/v for products weighing more than 250 g (8 oz.)
Labelling: Labelling should comply with Guideline:
- Codex General Standard for the Labelling of Prepacked Foods (CODEX STAN 1-1985 (Rev. 1-1991). 
- Codex Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling (CAC/GL 2-1985 (Rev.1-1993). 
- Guidelines for Use of Nutrition and Health Claims. 
Labelling should contain:
- The Name of the Food: The name of the product shall be either "Infant Formula" or any appropriate designation indicating the true nature of the product.
- The sources of protein in the product shall be clearly shown on the label.
- If cow's milk is the only source of protein, the product may be labelled "Infant Formula Based on Cow's Milk".
- A product which contains neither milk or any milk derivative shall be labelled "contains no milk or milk products" or an equivalent phrase.
- Products containing not less than 0.5 mg Iron (Fe)/ 100 kilocalories shall be labelled "Infant Formula with added Iron".
- Or Products containing less than 0.5 mg Iron (Fe)/ 100 kcal shall be labelled with a statement to the effect that when the product is given to infants over the age of four months, their total iron requirements must be met from other additional sources.
List of Ingredients
A complete list of ingredients shall be declared on the label in descending order of proportion.
Declaration of Nutritive Value: It should contain:
- The amount of energy, expressed in kilocalories (kcal) and/or kilojoules (kJ), and the number of grammes of protein, carbohydrate and fat per 100 grammes or per 100 millilitres of the food as sold as well as per 100 millilitres of the food ready for use, when prepared according to the instructions on the label.
- The total quantity of each vitamin, mineral, choline as listed in paragraph 3.1.2 and any other ingredient as listed in paragraph 3.2 of this Standard per 100 grammes or per 100 millilitres of the food as sold as well as per 100 millilitres of the food ready for use, when prepared according to the instructions on the label.
- In addition, the declaration of nutrients in a) and b) per 100 kilocalories (or per 100 kilojoules) is permitted.
Other labelling requirements
- The date of minimum durability (preceded by the words "best before") and storage instructions.
- Information for use.
- Labels should not discourage breastfeeding.
- Label should contain the statement "Breastmilk is the best food for your baby" or a similar statement as to the superiority of breastfeeding or breastmilk.
- Label should contain a statement that the product should only be used on advice of a independent health worker as to the need for its use and the proper method of use.
- The label shall have no pictures of infants and women nor any other picture or text which idealizes the use of infant formula. The terms "humanized", "maternalized" or other similar terms shall not be used.
- Information shall appear on the label to the effect that infants should receive supplemental foods in addition to the formula, from an age that is appropriate for their specific growth and development needs, as advised by an independent health worker, and in any case from the age over six months.
- The products shall be labelled in such a way as to avoid any risk of confusion between infant formula, follow-up formula, and formula for special medical purposes.
- No nutrition and health claims shall be made regarding the dietary properties of the product.
Basic informations of the Codex guidelines for infant formulas
The Codex guidelines for infant formulas was based on the recommendations on the compositional requirements for a global infant formula standard from Koletzko et al (2005) from the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) which had formed an International Expert Group (IEG) collecting data for the guidelines .
One important conclusion of the IEG was that infant formulae should only contain components in such amounts that serve a nutritional purpose or provide another benefit. The inclusion of unnecessary components, or unnecessary amounts of components, may put a burden on metabolic and other physiologic functions of the infant. 
Carlo Agostoni and Magnus Domellof in an editoral in 2005 presented a list of recommended concentrations of nutrients in infant formulae 1977–2005 which helped to fill a data gap. 
 The 26. Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses. ALINORM 05/28/26
 The 27.Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses. 21 - 25 November 2005 ALINORM 06/29/26
 The 28.Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses. 30 October - 3 November 2006. ALINORM 07/30/26-Rev.
 Advisory Lists of Mineral Salts and Vitamin Compounds for Use in Foods for Infants and Children (CAC/GL 10-1979 )
 Recommended International Code of Practice - General Principles of Food Hygiene (CAC/RCP 1 1969, Rev. 3 - 1997)
 Recommended International Code of Hygienic Practice for Foods for Infants and Children (CAC/RCP 21-1979)
 Principles for the Establishment and Application of Microbiological Criteria for Foods (CAC/GL 21-1997)
 Codex General Standard for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods (CODEX STAN 1-1985 (Rev. 1-1991)
 Codex Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling (CAC/GL 2-1985 (Rev.1-1993)
 Guidelines for Use of Nutrition and Health Claims
 Agostoni,Carlo, Goulet, Olivier; Kolacek, Sanja; Koletzko, Berthold; Moreno, Luis; Puntis, John; Rigo, Jacques; Shamir, Raanan; Szajewska, Hania; Turck, Dominique; ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition: Fermented Infant Formulae Without Live Bacteria. J Peditr Gastroenterol Nutr March 2007, 44(3) 392-397
 Koletzko, Berthold; Baker, Susan; Cleghorn, Geoff; Fagundes Neto, Ulysses; Gopalan, Sarath; Hernell, Olle; Hock, Quak Seng; Jirapinyo, Pipop; Lonnerdal, Bo;Pencharz, Paul; Pzyrembel, Hildegard; Ramirez-Mayans, Jaime; Shamir, Raanan; Turck, Dominique; Yamashiro, Yuichiro and Zong-Yi, Ding: Global Standard for the Composition of Infant Formula: Recommendations of an ESPGHAN Coordinated International Expert Group. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005; 41: 58-599
Domellöf, Magnus; Agostoni, Carlo: Infant Formulae: From ESPGAN Recommendations Towards ESPGHAN-coordinated Global Standards. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 41:580–583 November 2005